Flu season is already upon us. It’s another reminder that “shots”—also called vaccinations or immunizations—are really important. Almost all adults need certain immunizations to reduce the risk for getting or spreading certain serious diseases.
Health in Aging Foundation recommends these essential vaccinations for older adults.

Take a Shot at…INFLUENZA

While almost everyone 6-months-old and older should get a flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that flu vaccination is especially important for people who are 65-years-old or older, living in a nursing home, or living with serious health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, asthma, lung disease, or HIV). That’s because these people are at a high risk for having serious complications if they get the flu. Be sure to ask your healthcare professional for more details.

Take a Shot at…PNEUMONIA

Most people 65-years-old or older should get a pneumococcal shot that protects against pneumonia and blood and brain infections. Talk to your healthcare professional about different types of pneumococcal vaccines.


The tetanus/diphtheria shot protects against two potentially deadly bacterial infections. A second, different form of the vaccine also adds protection against pertussis (also called whooping cough). People generally need this immunization once every 10 years, so check with your healthcare professional to be sure you’re up-to-date.

Take a Shot at…SHINGLES

The shingles (or herpes zoster) shot protects against the development of painful skin rashes/blisters caused by a viral infection. The CDC recommends this vaccine for most adults 60-years-old and older.